Pelvic pain in women is a commonly occurring and poorly understood complaint that causes substantial physical limitation and emotional distress. Because many gynecologic and nongynecologic disorders can cause or contribute to pelvic pain, the evaluation, diagnosis, and treatment of pelvic pain pose significant clinical challenges.
The NICHD conducts and supports research on many disorders associated with pelvic pain. Specifically, NICHD scientists are seeking to understand better the mechanisms underlying pelvic pain in such conditions as endometriosis and the etiology of pain syndromes such as vulvodynia; to characterize morbidity associated with pelvic pain; and to develop new treatments for such pain-causing conditions as uterine fibroids and pelvic floor disorders. The NICHD also collaborates with other NIH Institutes to study overlapping pain conditions and common mechanisms that cause or contribute to pain disorders.